12 Most Common Volkswagen CC Problems (Explained)

The Volkswagen CC is the sportier version of the Passat and has a lower and sleeker-looking roofline.

It was sold from 2009 to 2017 and came with either a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 or a 3.6-liter VR6 engine.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the CC’s most common problems and their solutions.

1. Timing Chain Issues

Early versions of the Volkswagen CC’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine had lots of timing chain failures.

The timing chain tensioner in these older models had a tendency to wear out at around 100,000 miles, which caused the timing chain to stretch.

If the timing chain stretches too much or breaks, lots of engine internals like the valves, camshafts and pistons can get damaged, requiring thousands of dollars in repairs.

Common symptoms of a stretched timing chain include:

  • Engine rattle
  • Misfires
  • Rough idle
  • Hard starting
  • Engine stall
  • Reduced engine power
  • Check engine light 
  • Timing related trouble codes

Timing chain issues are more common in the 2008 to early 2013 model years of the Volkswagen CC.

Other Volkswagen and Audi models from the same period that used the turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine, such as the Tiguan, Passat and Golf, also suffered from similar timing chain problems.

The 3.6-liter VR6 engine found in the higher trim levels can also have timing stretch problems, but failure rates were much lower compared to the 2.0-liter inline-4. 

Here’s how a few CC owners on VWVortex.com described their experience:

“I’ve gotten the ultimate engine problem that is most likely a game over for this CC. My car was running extremely rough after the dealer fixed the fuel module and come to find out my timing belt tensioner broke which caused my timing belt to stretch. Needless to say my quote to fix it was 5k at the VW dealership assuming the cam wasn’t damaged which it most likely was, which would push my quote up to close to 8k for a new engine.” 

“The car drove fine for three weeks no problem. I started it one morning and it was riding rough almost like it had bad gas. I pulled into a gas station turned it off and back on and it was sputtering. I drove it home a little less than 1 mile. I tried to start it again the engine tried to turn over but wouldn’t catch. My neighbor had a code reader it came back as crank shaft sensor and a misfire on one cylinder. I had it towed to the mechanic who did the ABS. He said it was my timing chain and one cylinder had some damage.”

“Just bought a 2010 CC 2.0t for the kid, and I did my research before buying it. I knew the timing chain tensioner was the original and needed to be replaced, and the timing phase of the cams were +4, so I figured I would have a job to do soon. Had all the parts in my wishlist on shopdap.com just waiting for the funds to pull the trigger, when I got the call ‘My car won’t start’. She was idling in a parking spot when it went, said that she heard no noise when she shut it off, but it wouldn’t start when she tried to leave and just cranks rather fast.”

Volkswagen eventually started using an updated timing chain tensioner for the 2.0-liter engine some time in the latter half of 2012.

This means that early 2013 models are still susceptible to timing chain failures. You can check whether or not you have the updated tensioner by using the inspection hole on the timing cover.

Due to a class action lawsuit, Volkswagen also extended the warranty of the timing chain to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

To avoid major engine damage, many owners proactively change the timing chain tensioner with the updated part.

A Volkswagen specialist will usually charge around $800 for this repair. If you also need to replace the chain, the repair price gets bumped up to around $2,000.

If the timing chain is already stretched, you can get the updated part, which is stronger and more reliable, from a VW dealership.

To check whether your timing chain is stretched, you can use specialized scanners like OBDeleven or VCDS from Ross-Tech which will allow you to see the camshaft adjustment adaptation numbers. 

2. Carbon Buildup

All model years of the Volkswagen CC from 2009 to 2017 eventually suffer from excessive carbon buildup which significantly affects engine performance.

This is a common issue on a lot of engines that use direct injection, but the 2.0-liter TSI engine in a lot of Volkswagen and Audi vehicles had more issues with carbon buildup at lower mileages.

The VW CC’s 3.6-liter VR6 engine can also have carbon buildup issues, but it usually isn’t as severe as the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

When the intake valves get caked up with too much carbon deposits, you’ll notice symptoms such as:

  • Misfires
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Shaking or vibration at higher RPM
  • Limp mode
  • Check engine light

In a lot of cases, the misfires and acceleration problems go away once the engine warms up.

Here’s how a few owners on VWVortex.com described their experience:

“Lately my CC has had a slight stumble when I start it up in the morning. Finally, yesterday the CEL started flashing and stayed on. The codes were p0300 and p0302, which are random and cylinder 2 misfires. Once the car is up to temperature it smoothes out and doesn’t hesitate anymore. I’m at 78000 miles. Plugs, coils and pcv were changed around February and I only run 93 octane. I’m going to swap coils around, but I’m sure it’s time for a valve cleaning.”

“When I went to do the valve cleaning on my own 2.0T TSI CC last year, my valves at 85k were much filthier than my buddies 3.6 Passat at 130k.”

“I have a 2009 VW CC with 108,000 miles on it. I have been driving it since 47,000. I got misfire on cylinder #1 and #2 (codes P0300, P0301, P0302). When I checked with the dealer, they said that it is due to excess carbon buildup on the engine and it needs to be cleaned.”

The best way to clean out the carbon deposits is to have the intake valves professionally  walnut blasted.

This can cost around $500 at an independent VW or Euro specialist, and most enthusiasts recommend getting it done every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

If you want to go the DIY route, you can also remove the intake manifold and carefully scrape off and clean out the carbon buildup manually. 

Using premium gas can help reduce the carbon buildup, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the issue.

3. Intake Manifold Issues

The intake manifold of the CC’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine has had lots of reported failures.

It’s made entirely out of plastic and the mechanism that controls the intake flaps eventually breaks over time.

Common issues include:

  • Lever arm fails
  • Intake runner flaps break
  • Defective sensors

If the flaps are not working properly, it will cause air leaks and issues such as:

  • Misfires
  • Rough idle
  • Check engine light
  • P2014 or P2015 trouble code

Here’s how two CC owners described their experience on VWVortex.com: 

“I purchased my VW CC sport(Manual) in ’09. During the warranty I needed to have twice the air intake manifold replaced. The engine light came on during that time. Last time it was replaced was at 87k miles. Now at 112k miles it happened again!! and of course the warranty of the previous replacement was expired. The dealer was going to charge me $890.”

“Check engine light on for about a week, pulled code myself and it was intake manifold malfunction. Check engine light started flashing this morning, and engine misfired a couple of times. Dealer just called and said it was faulty intake manifold … not just the gaskets, the whole thing. Dealer quoted $1,900 for replacement with new intake manifold.”

Due to the number of reported intake manifold problems in different Volkswagen models, VW extended the warranty for the manifold to 10 years or 120,000 miles.

Volkswagen also redesigned the intake manifold in 2017 to reduce the number of failures.

A new intake manifold costs around $400, but labor costs can bump the total repair bill to roughly $1,000.

While the manifold is being replaced, it’s also a good idea to clean out the carbon deposits at the same time since the intake valves are already exposed.

4. Water Pump Failures

A leaking water pump is a common problem on the VW CC’s 2.0-liter TSI engine.

While water pumps are generally considered wear and tear items, the ones used in the CC can start leaking at around 60,000 to 80,000 miles, which many find to be too early.

The main issue is that the water pump and thermostat housings are made out of plastic, which gets brittle and cracks in just a few years, and will start leaking coolant.

In many cases, owners will only become aware of the coolant leak when they get a low coolant warning and find that the reservoir is completely empty.

This problem can affect all model years of the Volkswagen CC from 2009 to 2017. Other VW and Audi models also have similar water pump issues.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on VWVortex.com:

“Purchased the CC with 53K on it. Didn’t expect to have to replace the water pump at 80K.” 

“My water pump failed back in March. It had about 80k miles on it. It’s a 2012.”

“Was told by dealer at 80K service that water pump is leaking. Quoted $1,000 to replace.” 

“I had to get the water pump replaced twice in my CC’s lifetime. Both times it was due to a crack. The second time it failed within 20k miles of the first replacement. Thankfully there hasn’t been any issues with it since around 60k miles when it was last replaced. I am at 122k right now.”

Due to the number of water pump failures and a class action lawsuit, Volkswagen eventually extended the warranty for the water pump to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

If you need to get the water pump fixed out of warranty, a new pump costs around $350 and any experienced mechanic should be able to replace the old one quite easily. 

5. Fuel Pump Issues

Volkswagen issued a recall for the fuel pump control module in the 2009 to 2016 Volkswagen CC because it can damage the fuel pump.

This issue only affects cars equipped with the 2.0-liter TSI engine.

The fuel pump module had a tendency to overheat due to its placement under the rear seat which damages its electronic components and causes it to run continuously.

When the fuel pump module becomes faulty, it will also cause the fuel pump to fail.

Common symptoms of a faulty fuel pump and fuel pump module include:

  • EPC (Electronic Power Control) light comes on
  • Module gets very hot
  • P2293 trouble code
  • Battery gets drained
  • Engine stall
  • Hesitation to accelerate
  • Car won’t start

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on VWVortex.com:

“The Fuel Pump Module on my 2013 VW CC was recalled, before I could replace the part, both of my fuel pumps failed. From what I’ve read, the fuel pump module failing is the reason why both of my fuel pumps went out.”

“A year and a half ago, my car refused to even turn over one evening when I was leaving work. I had it towed to my VW dealer, and they told me the next morning that the fuel pump control module and fuel pump needed to be replaced, to the tune of $1,100.”

“I have a 2009 CC that is stalling out occasionally as if running out of fuel. The code I get is the P2293. Doing research, others who have had this issue ended up swapping the fuel pump control module.”

When CC owners took in their cars to get the fuel pump control module recall repair done, dealers would replace the old one with an updated part and install it in another location so that it didn’t overheat too much. 

VW dealers will also only replace the fuel pump module and not the fuel pump itself. If the faulty module takes out the fuel pump, customers would still have to pay for a new pump which costs around $400.

A new fuel pump control module costs around $250 if you need to have it replaced outside of warranty.

Related: 7 Most Common Volkswagen Passat Problems (Explained)

6. Leaking Rear Main Seal

The Volkswagen CC’s turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI engine can suffer from oil leaks due to a worn out rear main seal, also known as a crankshaft seal.

Although the seal isn’t very expensive, it is very difficult to replace since the transmission has to be separated from the engine to access it.

The seal gets blown out when the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) valve breaks and causes excess pressure to build up in the crankcase.

A leaky rear main seal and a bad PCV valve usually go hand in hand, so you might experience issues like:

  • Oil leak at the back of the engine 
  • Low oil warning
  • Check engine light
  • Oil consumption issues
  • Whistling sound from engine
  • P0171 trouble code or system too lean
  • Misfires with P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, and/or P0304 trouble code

A faulty PCV system will also create more carbon buildup.

Here’s how a few owners described their experience on VWVortex.com:

“Had check engine lights on and the car was failing smog. When I took it to dealership, they attributed it to rear main seal leaking oil and internal pressure from the engine. I am being quoted 3200$ for parts and labor. This is a 2010 VW CC and this sounds a lot.”

“I have a 2010 Volkswagen CC 2.0 liter sport that’s leaking oil and I found the culprit and it said the rear main seal I called Volkswagen to get a quote on it they quoted me for 10 hours of labor at $1,050.”

It’s a good idea to replace the PCV valve every 50,000 miles to avoid more expensive problems down the road.

Volkswagen updated the 2.0-liter TSI engine’s PCV valve to make it more reliable, so make sure you get the latest revision from a VW dealer.

If your rear main seal is already leaking badly, you can replace it with a stronger aftermarket part made out of billet aluminum which has a much longer lifespan and won’t easily wear out even after the PCV system starts failing.

7. Faulty Fuel Injectors

Leaking fuel injectors are a fairly common problem in the CC’s 2.0-liter engine.

When the injectors fail, they will cause misfires in one or two cylinders because it creates fuel delivery problems.

In a lot of cases, the fuel injectors get stuck open which causes the spark plugs to become soaked in fuel. A fouled spark plug is also another sign of a faulty injector.

Here’s how a few owners on VWVortex.com described their experience:

“My 2010 CC sport (manual) engine light came on and is telling me that the fuel injector in cylinder 2 has a misfire. I only have 60k on the clock.”

“Had noticed slight decrease in fuel efficiency, then check engine light came on. Off to the dealership who advised that one of the injectors was leaking and had to be replaced. They also noted heavy carbon buildup. This is on a car with 47,000 kms.”

“My 2010 CC 2.0T is nearing 70k miles. I recently had to make its first repair at 68K. Bad fuel injector costing a whopping $700 at the dealer.”

A new fuel injector from Volkswagen costs around $200 a piece while the OEM Bosch ones are only around $60.

If you want to replace all 4 injectors, complete kits are available which include the seals for around $1,000, while the Bosch equivalent goes for around $400.

Volkswagen also extended the warranty for the injectors to 10 years or 120,000 miles in the 2009 to 2011 model years of the CC due to the number of premature failures.

Before replacing the injectors, you should check if the misfires are caused by faulty ignition coils, bad spark plugs or carbon buildup.

8. DSG Problems

Early model years of the Volkswagen CC from 2009 to 2010 had lots of DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) failures.

Many issues would crop up after only a couple of years even before the car reached 50,000 miles.

CC owners reported problems such as:

  • Hard downshifts
  • Jerky acceleration
  • Hesitation 
  • Can’t shift into reverse
  • Goes into neutral

This early iteration of VW’s DSG also isn’t as smooth as a traditional automatic when driving at low speeds, but it’s more responsive when driving more spiritedly.

Other Volkswagen models with the DSG/dual-clutch transmission from the same period also had similar problems.

Here’s how CC owners described their experience with the DSG on VWVortex.com:

“It is a common problem for the mechatronics unit to fail. Mine did at 48k miles. Leaving from a stop the car would jerk into first or if I didn’t stop completely it would slam into first. Then when I would put the car in drive and let my foot off the brake without accelerating. The car would like lunge forward on and off like a hiccup in a sense. Dealer covered it all thankfully under manufacturer warranty.’

“2010 CC 2.0 turbo. 55k miles, I ran into a problem at about 50k miles where my transmission was becoming unresponsive. I would press the gas and there would be a delay. Even worse, sometimes I couldn’t get the car to go into reverse. Getting a P2711 error code ‘Unexpected Mechanical Gear Disengagement (No signal/communication intermittent).’ Mechanic said the clutch packs needed to be replaced and it would be about $2,000.”

“My VW Passat CC 2010 is less than 3yrs old and its already in the workshop with gear problems. agent found out it needs a new Mechatronics replaced which will take 3 weeks.”

Replacing the transmission fluid every 40,000 miles is very important for the DSG transmission because it will start having problems much sooner if it’s not properly maintained.

However, a properly maintained DSG transmission can still have problems with worn clutch packs or a faulty mechatronic unit at higher mileages.

Aside from extending the warranty for the mechatronic unit in the 2009 to 2010 model years, Volkswagen also updated their DSG in newer models to make them more reliable.

Replacing the clutch packs can cost around $1,000 while a new mechatronics unit will run you about $1,500 to $2,000. If you need to replace the entire transmission, it can cost up to $5,000.

9. Turbocharger Problems

The Volkswagen CC’s turbocharger has a few known issues that can affect the drivability of the car, especially on the pre-facelift models from 2009 to 2012.

One of the most common turbo problems is the actuator rod for the internal wastegate becomes loose.

When there’s too much play in the rod, the wastegate doesn’t fully close which creates a boost leak.

The N75 valve, which is a type of boost controller, as well as the diverter valve diaphragm can also become faulty.

Common symptoms of turbo problems include:

  • Turbo lag
  • Check engine light and EPC light
  • Boost leak sounds
  • P0299 trouble code for underboost condition
  • Limp mode
  • Rattling wastegate actuator rod  

Here’s how a few owners on VWVortex.com described their experience:

“My 2011 CC is sitting at the VW dealer with a dead turbo. $1800.00 to repair it. I only have 32,400 miles on the car.” 

“I have a 2009 VW CC 2.0. I have enjoyed the car until recently when the check engine light came on and we were diagnosed with a turbo that requires replacement. The quoted repair costs far exceeded the value of the vehicle.”

“The check engine light illuminated on my 2010 CC Sport. I took it to two places to get it read and both said P0299 Code ‘Boost Pressure Regulation: Control Pressure Not Reached.’ However, it runs great, no other symptoms, no decrease in power or mileage. Lack of pressure in the turbo is what I’m told.”

“Once the boost starts building it sounds like something ‘opens’ and it sounds like boost is escaping. It’s clearly audible. This started happening with the old diaphragm DV.”

To fix the rattle from the wastegate actuator rod, Volkswagen added a metal clip on one of the linkages to reduce the play.

However, this doesn’t completely seal the internal wastegate when it’s closed, so the boost leak remains.

The only sure fire way to fix the wastegate problem is to replace the entire turbo assembly which costs around $1,300.

If you only need to replace the N75 or diverter valve, these only cost around $100 to $150 and are much easier to replace.

Loose or cracked hoses can also cause boost leaks. To test for issues, a mechanic can perform a smoke test to pinpoint where the leak is coming from.

10. Trunk Wiring Harness Issues

A lot of Volkswagen CC’s eventually have issues with the trunk wiring harness.

This wiring harness wears out over time due to constant mechanical stress as you open and close the trunk.

 Common issues caused broken wires inside the trunk harness include:

  • Trunk opens on its own
  • Trunk doesn’t latch close
  • Trunk won’t open when pulling on VW emblem
  • Trunk warnings on the dash
  • Trunk light doesn’t work
  • Backup camera issues

Here’s how a few owners on VWVortex.com described their trunk problems:

“I have a 2011 CC VR6 4motion Volkswagen. The Trunk won’t open using the emblem on the trunk. It opens from the trunk button in the inside and on the key FOB but won’t when I manually try to do it from the actual VW symbol on the trunk. The symbol does flip, it just doesn’t open the trunk.”

“I have a 2013 VW CC sport with a trunk problem. It first started with the trunk latch not locking correctly. This was intermittent and the car worked fine so I ignored it for a few weeks. The electrical problem came second. I would hear a ding and the trunk open display would pop up in the dash, however the trunk was secure. Eventually I lost the ability to use the dash message center completely, it was stuck on the “trunk open” display no matter what.” 

“2010 CC Sport. Trunk suddenly stopped working. Does not open with FOB, emblem, or drivers side door switch. No noises. No click. Completely silence. I am able to open with emergency pull.”

A new trunk harness costs around $200 and it should be fairly easy to replace the old one.

Some owners were able to successfully trace the broken wires and splice them back together, but it’s still better to simply replace the entire harness as the remaining wires that haven’t broken yet will likely become problematic in the near future.

11. Sagging Headliner

The headliner of the Volkswagen CC will eventually detach from the ceiling as the adhesive that holds it in place dries out.

Although it’s just a cosmetic issue, it’s very unsightly and makes the car’s interior look extremely tired and worn out.

Here’s how a few owners on VWVortex.com described their experience:

“My 2010 CC headliner started coming off around the overhead lights and sunglass holder and now in the rear as well. A friend of mine has a ’10 CC and he’s experiencing exactly the same issue.”

“Got an area about 6-8″ radius around the sunglasses holder that has pulled away from the headliner board (it’s still attached along the rest of the windshield and along the sides, so it’s not dropping down in the way or anything). Noticed a 4″ circular area in the area just above the passenger-side C-pillar that is like a bubble.”

“I have a 2011 VW CC sport 2.0L and recently my entire headliner has been sagging… literally only held on by the weather stripping and various parts that are clipped/screwed in.” 

An upholstery shop can fix the headliner for around $500 to $1,000. 

Taking the headliner out on your own and just having the upholstery shop glue the cloth will reduce the total repair cost significantly.

CC owners typically remove the entire headliner through the back door or trunk to avoid the windshield removal process, which is the method most dealers use.

12. Frameless Window Issues

The Volkswagen CC’s frameless windows give it a sleeker, coupe-like appearance, but they also cause a few additional problems.

They normally open slightly when you pull the door handle and close back up to make closing the doors easier without having to worry about the air pressure inside the cabin. This also allows the glass to rest nicely on the rubber seals.

However, this can be a problem in the winter because they can get frozen shut. It can introduce more wind noise and rattles in the cabin.

It also turns what should be minor electrical problems into slightly more concerning issues.

Here’s how a few owners described their window issues on VWVortex.com: 

“When I used to park outside, I would use some De-Icing spray along the base of the window trim and along the top of the window, wait 20-30 seconds, & press unlock until it opens/window drops. Worked all the time. I use the spray now instead of scraping, so I don’t damage the windows. FWIW, the windshield of my 1st CC got scratched from a windshield scraper.”

“My passenger side rear door glass doesn’t drop until the door is unlatched, not when the handled is pulled to a preset distance like the others, VW said it’s a microchip in the door handle that has gone bad and doesn’t drop the window. They quoted me 600$ for a fix.”

“I recently encountered an issue very similar to your situation on my own 2010 CC. My left rear window would not open or close, the door would not lock, and my battery was being drained because the alarm kept trying to set. Problem was a faulty window motor/module.”

If your vehicle has remote start, you can use it to preheat the cabin and thaw out the windows before getting in when the temperature drops to below freezing. Otherwise, you can use some de-icing spray during the winter.

To prevent the windows from rattling and reduce wind noise, you can apply rubber treatments like Gummi Pflege Stift to keep the rubber seals from drying out and maintain their elasticity.

If one of the windows is refusing to roll down at all, the window motor might be defective. A new window motor is quite expensive at around $400.

It could also be caused by a faulty door control module, a broken latch, a busted fuse, or some other electrical wiring issue.

Related: 9 Best & Worst Volkswagen CC Years (Facts & Stats)

Volkswagen CC Pros & Cons


  • Sleek design
  • Powerful engine options
  • Upscale interior
  • Comfy ride
  • Manual and DSG options
  • Available all-wheel drive 


  • Turbo 2.0-liter reliability issues
  • Expensive parts and maintenance
  • Limited back seat and trunk space

What Do The Reviews Say?

“Stand a few yards away from the 2017 Volkswagen CC, and its appeal is obvious. With sleek coupe styling wrapped around four doors, the CC’s exterior design stands out as one of the most interesting among midsize sedans.” 

“Inside, the CC cabin impresses with near-luxury features and fit and finish. A 200-horsepower turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic transmission pairing feels quick and refined, and sounds terrific.”

“The CC R-Line was sloppy, both at our test track and out on the road. The suspension feels under-damped, and there’s too much body roll. It doesn’t handle nearly as sporty as it looks.”

“The transmission is clunky at low speeds, which can be annoying in traffic. Above parking lot speeds, however, it shifts smoothly and quickly. Power from the turbocharged engine is solid at almost all engine speeds.”

“The downside to that sharp exterior styling is less trunk space than you might expect from a midsize sedan. The pinched shape could also complicate loading larger, awkward items. The rear seatbacks fold flat, and there’s a center pass-through for skis and long items.”

2017 Volkswagen CC | Edmunds

What’s the Resale Value of a Volkswagen CC?

Here’s a quick look at used car pricing for the CC on Edmunds at the time of writing.



  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...